Nearly 20 years after Sue Conley and Peggy Smith started their small production cheesemaking business, the duo has announced the sale of Cowgirl Creamery to Emmi, a Swiss dairy company.
According to a letter from Conley and Smith, the sale will enable the company to grow the team and its portfolio of cheeses, including the construction of a new production facility in Petaluma. Opportunities for increased innovation, food safety, waste management, and alternative energy were also listed as reasons for the merger, the terms of which are undisclosed.
Cowgirl Creamery isn't the only recent local acquisition for Emmi, which is the largest Swiss milk processor, following the purchase of Sebastopol's Redwood Hill Farm and Creamery six months ago, and Cypress Grove in 2010. The sale also includes the company's distribution business, Tomales Bay Foods, which was the pair's original enterprise before opening the creamery in 1997.
Smith and Conley will continue to oversee the company that cheese built as President and Vice President, and continue to produce current offerings like the beloved triple-cream Mt. Tam. The company currently produces ten cheeses, and plans to bring back their beloved cottage cheese with the expanded production capabilities that Petaluma will bring, in addition to completely new offerings. According to the Chronicle, Conley and Smith are also looking forward to access to resources and experts on European cheesemaking, which will add to their product line.
Stay tuned for more updates on Cowgirl Creamery, as well as their cheese chop in the SF Ferry Building, which is undergoing a renovation.